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February 24, 2012

Udi's Frozen Pizzas

...might be close to heavenly.

We're 36 hours from our trip and we are not in the mood for cooking or washing dishes, so Sean swiped these frozen pizzas from Stew Leonard's and we're devouring them tonight. Also? They're $5. That sure as heck beats paying $10-20 to order out.

Thank you, Udi's, for making life easier in our house!

We're so excited for our vacation! What a strange winter it's been (if you can even call it winter). Hopefully in a week or so the temperature will keep climbing up, up, up and spring will be here to stay!

Were you on school vacation this week? Did you do anything fun? Or do you have travel plans coming up that you're excited for?

February 16, 2012

In a Rut

In the words of Scooby Doo...

Rut roh!


Cookies for dinner, anyone? These are Glutino chocolate with creme filling (aka GF oreos)



















I have been having a bit of an Epic Fail Week when it comes to cooking dinner. I was in a bit of a cooking funk the past couple weeks, and poor Sean has been living off microwave soups and chicken patties because of it. I just couldn't get my act together with our schedules. I'm going to go ahead and blame it on the February Funk, when I'm missing the farmers market and fresh produce that looks and tastes appetizing, and missing being able to cook dinner with the windows open and a warm evening breeze tickling my bare toes.

These days I more resemble Nanuk of the North with my fuzzy wooly slippers, and my nightly uniform of fleece pants and a hoodie. We're sealed up in our apartment, layers packed on to help reduce our heating bill, falling sleep under thick fleece blankets on the couch as the sun is merely a memory by 6pm.

I ache for spring.

We thought we would get back into a meal planning groove, complete with a meal schedule for the week and a successful trip to the grocery store. We thought... but of course all the best laid plans go awry. Here are contributing factors to my week of fail:

I made salmon Sunday night, and our apartment decided to hang on to that fishy smell until I got home from work Monday night and Febreezed the joint. Gross.

Then I forgot to make my homemade applesauce in the crockpot and had to use unsweetened applesauce that I'd purchased for baking to accompany our Monday night pork chops. Except it was unsweetened and just tasted like nasty mush. I couldn't finish a whole pork chop, and for me to not finish a meal, it has to be pretty awful.

Last night was supposed to be simple: quinoa pasta with homemade turkey meatballs and salad. Except I forgot to pick up more pasta at the grocery store after work. I managed to pick up some cans of fruit, some fresh berries and cream, and a fresh package of turkey (because I forgot to call Sean and remind him to take the turkey out of the freezer). But I forgot the pasta. And I couldn't eat cereal for dinner because I forgot that we needed milk, too.

Fail, fail, fail.

It's a tough time of year for me to feel motivated to cook. I love cooking, so it pains me to feel so "meh" about it. My hope is that with Sean's schedule change and being home for dinner every night, we'll get our groove back. We need to get our groove back. I am better than stinky salmon and saucy pork chops.

How do you get back in a cooking groove when you're feeling the February Funk? Do you just submit to it and settle for "whatever"?

And more importantly, how many more days until spring?

February 8, 2012

We're Not Perfect

I just want to quickly share two videos I've seen in the past 24 hours that make my heart sing.



Goldie is such a breath of fresh air. I have always loved her style, and that she is who she is, without apology.



The definition of a class act.

February 3, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday: Gluten Free Edition

GRONK!!!

I love the Superbowl. No matter who is playing, it's always a great excuse to get together with your best, most rowdy friends, hoot and holler, and eat some grub. Past years we have hosted at our apartment, and have eaten ourselves into oblivion, and I've withou fail fallen asleep on the couch every year to the Puppy Bowl as Sean cleans up all the solo cups and dishes with chip 'n dip remnants. I am one lucky lady!

Mixing up some meatballs in years past. Photo credit: T3K


This Sunday's menu will be easier as we'll be a much smaller crowd gathering at our friends' house next door. We're bringing buffalo chicken dip (a recipe from my wonderful bestie, Jonna) and pulled pork in the crock pot to make sandwiches.

Buffalo Chicken Dip (adapted for GF)

1 package of chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup of ranch dressing (Annie's Naturals Cowgirl Ranch Dressing)
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot Sauce (GF, measured amount depends on spiciness you want!)
1 bag of sharp yellow cheddar cheese
Tostitos Scoops

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Cook and shred the chicken (you can do this the night/day before in a crock pot to shred easily and store in the fridge). In a large bowl, mix the shredded chicken, ranch dressing, Frank's Red Hot sauce, and 1.5 cups of cheddar cheese. Mix thoroughly and spread into a pie or baking dish. Top with remaining cheddar and bake for 30 minutes or until melted and bubbly. Serve hot with Tostitos Scoops.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches (GF Crock Pot Recipe)

1 pork butt (size according to how many you're feeding)
3/4 - 1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce
1 cup of brown sugar (or 1 can of root beer)
1/2 cup of spicy brown mustard (we use Guldens)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper

Directions

Pardon me for this....rub your pork butt with salt and pepper, and drizzle with spicy brown mustard. Place in crock pot on low, approximately 6 hours prior to serving. Around hour 4, add chopped onion and brown sugar to crock pot (pour somewhat evenly over the pork). At hour 5, begin shredding pork using 2 forks. once completely shred, add in Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce and mix contents of crock pot. Put cover back on and allow to cook another 30-45 minutes.

Split Udi's Hamburger Buns in half and lightly butter. Toast in the oven on a cookie sheet until crusty and brown. Grab some pork and chomp! You may also choose to add a slice of white American cheese or provolone.

If sandwiches aren't your thing, we are also big fans of pulled pork nachos! Build a big plate of Scoops, pulled pork, cheddar and jack cheeses, black olives, jalapenos, black beans, and have some salsa and sour cream handy. They will not disappoint!

If that won't satisfy you...

Here are a couple more easy favorites that we love on Superbowl Sunday:

Jambalaya - chicken, andouille sausage, shrimp, rice and veggie stew, prepared in the crock pot

Sweet and Spicy Kielbasa - another easy crock pot treat

Sweet BBQ Chicken Wings - marinate chicken wings in Sweet Baby Rays, sprinkle with lemon pepper and chopped onion, and roast for 25 minutes, turning wings halfway through the cooktime. Emiril's roasted wings also look good! 

Wherever you are, whoever you're rooting for, have fun, please don't drink and drive, and remember, half the fun of these games are spending time with friends and family, eating great food, and enjoying the commercials.

Go Patriots!

February 2, 2012

We Have a Winner!

Thank you to all who participated in my giveaway the past couple weeks! I've loved reading your comments about your favorite baked goods, and I hope you all join me on a crusade to do more gluten free baking in the future. I tried my hand at the Babycakes chocolate cupcakes a couple weeks ago, and oh my goodness, I actually enjoyed baking from scratch. It wasn't stressful, it was fun! And I forgot how much I loved having a messy counter with flour and a smattering of measuring spoons and globs of spilled batter everywhere. Baking really is a wonderful experience. And trust me when I say that if I can bake something gluten free from scratch, anyone can!

And the winner is....

Chosen at random using the number generator on Random.org, the winner of Babycakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten Free, and (Mostly) Sugar Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked About Bakery is comment #6, Sarah Blake, who said "So yummy! Thanks for the chance! I love making chocolate chip cookie balls using my baby cakes cake pop maker :)". Ummm can you send some of those cookie balls my way? A dozen would be wonderful :)

Sarah, please email me your mailing address at shannon@theglutenfreewife.com to claim your prize. I will send it as soon as I hear from you!

Thanks again to all who participated! I hope to do another giveaway soon!

And some random...

It's been a bit of a doozy of a week for us, so I apologize for the lack of posting. We were in a car accident Friday night on our way to dinner. No one was hurt, but it was very scary (rear-ended by a cab driver) and incredibly frustrating dealing with filing reports and having my car in the shop for probably the next two weeks. Let this be a reminder: Please pay attention when you're driving! All it takes is a split second of looking away from the road to lose the reaction time needed to stop or swerve. My dad always taught me to watch out for idiots on the road, because there are a lot of them. It's true, but when they come flying up from behind in rush hour traffic, there's not much you can do but brace yourself and say a quick prayer that it won't be completely horrible.

Gronk!

This weekend is Superbowl weekend and we are PSYCHED! The Superbowl is always a big event for us, and though we're not hosting friends this year, we are super excited our Patriots made it to the big dance! It'll be an intense rematch with the Giants, and we sure as heck hope for a more victorious outcome this time around. I'll try to get a couple recipes for Superbowl treats up here in the next day or so. Some of my favorites are wings, crock pot meatballs, kielbasa, pulled pork nachos, 3-layer dip (Sean's mom makes a killer 3-layer dip!), and jambalaya.

What are your favorite Superbowl foods? Will you be watching on Sunday? And more importantly, who are you rooting for? Or are you just watching for the commercials...